Our 8/9 hour marathon of a drive from Milton Keynes to Ben Nevis began at 8pm after a long day of building websites on Friday. We stopped halfway on the journey at the service station so that everyone could grab some much-needed fuel before the first ascent. A fully loaded zinger tower box meal was a bad choice! We arrived at 4am at a little countryside town at the bottom of Ben Nevis. Half an hour later our brand new boots were laced up and Tom was putting on his thermals, not knowing that he’d need to take them all off again just a few minutes later; just walking up the path that leads to the beginning of Ben Nevis caused some overheating.
So it begins! The terrain of Ben Nevis starts out fairly easy; clearly all my sensible eating and all our training the day before was already paying off. The terrain of Ben Nevis started out relatively smooth… and then about half way up it started to become very rough and we had to watch our footing on all the loose rocks. The closer we reached the peak, the colder and damper it got from all the fog and chilly winds. Ben Nevis (being the highest peak in the UK) took us the longest to climb – we managed to summit in a respectable time of 3 and a half hours! We celebrated our summit and then quickly realised that we still had to clamber back down. Pushing the other two peaks we still had to climb out of our minds, we trooped on!
Back at the bottom and a Yorkshire tea later, we made a mad 6-hour dash for Scafell Pike. Personally, I was a little nervous climbing this peak because (I don’t know if it’s just me but) the name doesn’t exactly sound like a walk in the park! It didn’t help that Tom previously had a scare getting lost in the dark on this one too; even assuring me that he’d share the emergency storm shelter wasn’t much comfort.
At 7pm the second peak ascent began and I knew that we did not want to get stuck up there in the dark, the only choice was to push through. The Mirus IT Team set a really fast pace, determined to reach the top in good time. The burn in my thighs from the Ben Nevis and now Scafell Pike made it clear this was going to be a real challenge! The terrain was inhospitable to say the least and our head torches became essential as it quickly got dark. Amazingly we reached the top in an impressive 1 hour and 45 minutes. Due to the visibility increasing the risks of injury and stray paths, it took considerably longer to come down. We reached base at 11pm for a well-deserved pot noodle before making the final drive to Snowdon.
Arriving at Snowdon at 4:30am, it was obvious that everyone was absolutely exhausted. Keen to get started and happy that this was the final challenge, we made one last push up the Welsh peak. The scenery is truly beautiful with it’s rolling hills and vast reservoirs. Dragging our bodies to the top, we’ve never felt so accomplished! All three peaks and the lack of sleep had really taken it’s toll on everyone. The whole team posed and for a picture on the summit and took a moment to take it all in. While we were on the peak a small train arrived; it crossed my mind that it would be all too easy to jump aboard and leisurely cruise back down but unfortunately that’s not part of the challenge. Fortunately, the climb down wasn’t too hard, we could pace ourselves a little and enjoy the scenery while taking our time. Reaching the bottom and back at the mini bus it was beers all round!